Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Pirate Ships & Magical Frog Milk

If you’re a parent and have experienced 3.5 years old, you know it’s something else. It’s basically like a roller coaster of highs and lows of (strong) emotions and demands, which can change at the drop of a hat. Even though this age can be semi-frustrating at times, it’s also the sweetest age and my favorite to date. Quinn is such a gentle and imaginative kid, and he surprises me everyday with his kind gestures and amazingly creative ideas and pretend play.

Just recently, our neighbors “who are getting older” (as Quinn tells everyone) gave him some of their hand-me-down toys, including THE BEST pirate ship. Quinn has played with it NON-STOP for almost a week now. It’s the first thing he plays with when he wakes up and the last before he goes to bed. He absolutely loves it, and we love listening to the stories he makes up using the various pirates and other figurines. (Batman and Robin frequent this pirate ship!)

Also adorable: Flood water pants and “Magical Frog Milk” that makes you hop and ribbit when you drink it. Have I mentioned how much I love this age? And when it’s terrible, I just drink more wine. 😉

After I drop Qman off at school, I swing by Starbucks to do a little work. While there, I drink my iced coffee and eat a vanilla almond Atlas Bar (GMO-free, low in sugar, made locally, and delicious). I don’t usually eat bars for breakfast, but the morning got away from us, and I never had time to make something. I grabbed it to go, and it did the trick!

After spending some time at Starbucks, I head to CrossFit for a workout. It was a good one – challenging, but not soul-crushing either. Ha! I love a tough workout on Monday morning because it definitely sets the tone for the rest of the week. Never miss a Monday!

After CrossFit, I ran a couple of errands and then headed home to shower and GET TO WORK. I usually hit up the 5:15 AM class on Mondays because they’re my “get sh*t done” days, but I figured with the Patriots loss on Sunday night, hardly anyone would show up for the early-morning class. Well, it turns out the 5:15 AM and 9:00 AM classes were pretty quiet. I guess everyone was feeling pretty bummed about the outcome of the game. Hey, I’m just glad I got in a good workout! #mehfootball

While working, I had a protein shake made with SFH vanilla, iced tea (the one that tastes sort of like coffee), and iced decaf coffee. I guess I was in the zone because I didn’t stop for lunch until almost 2:00 PM. On the menu: Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes (will share the recipe soon), Parmesan Roasted Fennel, sauted kale with Green Goodness Dressing from Trader Joe’s, and some homemade Almond Butter Protein (Collagen) Cookies (will also share this recipe soon). Lunch was all of my favorites – as much as healthy eating is about good nutrition, it’s important to “feed” your taste buds, too!

Love your lunch

The day ended up flying by, so I took Murphy for a quick walk and then picked up Qman from school.

The end.

Stitch Fix Giveaway

A big THANKS to everyone who entered my blog birthday giveaway. Here’s the winner of the $200 Stitch Fix gift card:


Updated! Need some new maternity looks!!

Congrats, Melissa! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com with your Stitch Fix account email address to claim your prize.

Question of the Day

If you have kids, what was your favorite age? Any advice for surviving 3.5 years old – both serious and joking ideas welcomed! 🙂 

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Introducing Accidental Paleo: A Grain-Free, Meat-Free, Hassle-Free Cookbook!

Inline_Accidental_PaleoToday I’m excited to introduce a book that breaks new ground at Primal Publishing. It’s a book whose time has come and reflects the growing expansion and diversity of the Primal movement: Accidental Paleo. Malibu’s own Lauren Lobley—a chef, caterer and private nutrition coach as well as host of the Delectable You YouTube show—runs with the truth that you can be a vegetarian and still adhere to Primal/paleo principles. Accidental Paleo is full of colorful, nutritious and creative recipes that are whole-food, meat-free, grain-free, and hassle-free. Whether you’re a Primal-minded vegetarian or a traditional Primal eater, the amazing recipes and food preparation tips of Accidental Paleo offers serious kitchen inspiration and solid Primal nutrition.

Lauren’s inspiration for this book came out of her own journey from sugar addict to healthy eater, a journey that didn’t involve meat. Many of her private nutrition consultation/catering clients expressed a similar desire to tone down the grains and sugars that promote excess insulin production without jumping into the steak and bacon scene.

Oftentimes, narrowing down one’s eating options to exclude grains and sugars as well as animal products can be a recipe for failure—many well-intentioned people just can’t deal with that level of restriction. You can only nibble on nuts and eat piles of steamed vegetables for so long before your eating routine becomes bland and boring. In Lauren’s case, her passion for cooking was the catalyst for a successful long-term dietary transformation.

Veggie Curry

This book will awaken you to the amazing versatility and endless possibilities of vegetable-centered meals. Even if you are a big fan of meat like me, this book will become a unique and indispensable addition to your recipe collections. Now that I spend a good deal of time eating with keto adaptation in mind, I actually do more with low carb vegetables, and Accidental Paleo has been an excellent inspiration for keeping things fresh. And my penchant for salads? I’ve loved the inspiration from ten different salad recipes—everything from Grilled Veggie Salad with Pesto to Kale Salad with Spicy Almond Dressing.

But salads are only the beginning. Accidental Paleo shows how meatless main meals and tempting sides can satisfy both a taste for rich flavors and Primal nutrient requirements. With recipes like Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, it’s a feast for even carnivores can enjoy. (Note: Be sure to try the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bars for dessert.) Simply put, this is the best of vegetarian eating on all counts. And as more people in the Primal/paleo realm embrace the benefits of plant-based meals—whether or not they include meat in their overall diet—Accidental Paleo is a fantastic resource for expanding Primal and paleo cooking and for enjoying great Primal-focused nutrition.


Now For the Deal…

Buy Accidental Paleo today on PrimalBlueprint.com, and I’ll throw in a FREE bottle of our brand new Primal Kitchen® Italian Vinaigrette. The latest addition to the Primal Kitchen dressing family is filled with fresh organic ingredients including thyme, basil, oregano, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. High in monounsaturated fats and infused with avocado oil, this plant-based dressing is the perfect complement to antipastos, fresh veggies, meat and fish marinades, and decadent salads. I think our Italian Vinaigrette and Lauren’s Cobley’s Accidental Paleo are the perfect pairing for delicious, plant-based Primal inspiration.

This deal only lasts through February 20, 2018, midnight PST, so don’t wait. Use code NEWITALIAN at checkout. Enjoy, everyone!



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Primal Challenge: Forget the “Best” Workouts

Inline_Fitness_Live-Awesome-645x445-02It’s one of the biggest mistakes people who are looking to reboot their health make—and one of the most common reasons so many are already dropping their New Year fitness goals. Anyone seeing the gyms clearing out yet? The optimist in me wishes they’ve simply found other pursuits outside the gym that interest them more—at home or in leagues or other venues. Experience, however, suggests differently.

“Pursue the challenges that turn you on instead of worrying about what the magazines say is the ‘best’ workout, or the marketing hype that glorifies extreme events.”  — The New Primal Blueprint, pg. 316

For more on finding your own fitness passions and creating an active lifestyle that fits your life, check out some of my past posts on the subject:

“How to Personalize Primal Blueprint Fitness”

“What Is Your Inner Athlete?”


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The Coast Is Clear

{If you missed Part I!}

On Friday morning we lucked out with more pretty weather and had really good complimentary coffee in the Living Room (aka the lobby of the W.) It was actually really comfortable to enjoy “morning time” as we call it down there!

We purchased a light breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and croissants from the cafe. I made a little yogurt bowl with some trail mix we had for snacking.

M&Ms for breakfast – yes sir!

After our stomachs were a little less full, we went for a nice 4 mile run along the oceanfront path. It was so great to get hot and sweaty on a run! I can’t wait for running season to return to Cville.

Next stop was lunch, which we ate at Lona, the restaurant under the Westin. It seemed all the big hotels had really nice restaurants underneath. I am a little skeptical of hotel restaurants, but all the ones we tried were really great. This was my favorite meal of the trip because of the great alfresco atmosphere and views!

We ate chips and salsa, tuna tostada, and the BEST tempura fish tacos with avocado and cabbage slaw!

After lunch we donned our suits and spent a few hours on the beach. It was too cold to swim, but just hearing the waves crash cured any winter blues that were lurking inside.

I’m reading Sarah Jio’s book Morning Glory about two different stories in two different decades set on a houseboat in Seattle. It’s good!!

The W had two pools, the big party pool and the smaller Wet West pool, which housed the hot tub. We swam in the big pool first and then ran over to hot tub before going up to shower.

We had another beautiful, colorful sun set sky!

We had a drink in the Living Room before heading out to dinner.

For our second night we dined at S3. I am not sure if that stands for surf, sand, and sun or sushi, steak, and seafood! Perhaps both. It was next door in the Hilton, and we had another great meal out on the terrace. The restaurant was filled with bright orange lights, so unfortunately none of my food photos came out well. We had a really good tropical sushi roll, tempura cauliflower, and goat cheese fritters.

And then for dessert – this deep dish cookie with vanilla ice cream on top. HEAVENLY!

We really wanted to go out dancing or something, but we are just so old! No energy left in the ole body clock. I am embarrassed to say how early we went to bed! We both agreed, though, had we been with our group of friends we would have sought out some entertainment.

We woke up on Saturday morning to wind and rain, thankful that we had had two pretty days before. For breakfast we had more selections from the cafe – yogurt, a bagel, and fruit. (I saved the banana for later.)

Surprisingly, the clouds parted mid morning, just when we were at a loss of how to spend our last morning, and we went for a nice power walk along the water.

We had lunch at Lulu’s Bait Shack, which someone had recommended on Instagram. I had a mahi-mahi taco salad with lettuce, beans, cheese, guac, and salsa.

Our trip was the perfect length of stay for a quick getaway, and I would definitely recommend Fort Lauderdale if you can get a cheap direct flight down! The strip where we stayed had a lot to offer without the need for a car. Many of you recommended we take the water taxi over to Las Olas, but we didn’t want to mess with transportation, even the water kind! Maybe next time we’ll venture off the beach. We loved being able to walk everywhere, lounge by the pool, and relax on the beach. The views from the W were top notch!

The end.

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Modern Home Air Fryer Review

Ready for my Modern Home Air Fryer Review?

I announced on Facebook that I had gotten an air fryer for Christmas and asked if there were any recipe requests. What I got was a lot of you asking me to… Read more →

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